Wabash Avenue (1950)

92 mins | Musical | April 1950

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HISTORY

Although they are not credited or identified in the film, advertisements for Wabash Avenue confirm that Red Nichols and His Five Pennies accompany "Honey Man" and "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate." The band is seen onscreen during "Honey Man." Several sources erroneously list James Barton's character as "Hogan," however, in the film he is called "Harrigan." "Wilhelmina" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Other songs heard briefly, or in the background score, include "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree," "Are You from Dixie?" "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose" and "Ciribiribin." A radio adaptation of Wabash Avenue , starring Grable, Mature and Gerald Mohr, was broadcast on Lux Radio Theatre on 13 Nov 1950. Wabash Avenue was a remake of Fox's 1943 film Coney Island (see ... More Less

Although they are not credited or identified in the film, advertisements for Wabash Avenue confirm that Red Nichols and His Five Pennies accompany "Honey Man" and "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate." The band is seen onscreen during "Honey Man." Several sources erroneously list James Barton's character as "Hogan," however, in the film he is called "Harrigan." "Wilhelmina" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Other songs heard briefly, or in the background score, include "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree," "Are You from Dixie?" "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose" and "Ciribiribin." A radio adaptation of Wabash Avenue , starring Grable, Mature and Gerald Mohr, was broadcast on Lux Radio Theatre on 13 Nov 1950. Wabash Avenue was a remake of Fox's 1943 film Coney Island (see above). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Apr 1950.
---
Daily Variety
31 Mar 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Apr 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 1950
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Apr 50
p. 254.
New York Times
29 Apr 50
p. 8.
Variety
5 Apr 50
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
MUSIC
Mus dir
Voc dir
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Tech adv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor color consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Clean Up Chicago," "Wilhelmina," "Baby Won't You Say You Love Me?" "May I Tempt You with a Big Red Rosy Apple?" and "Down on Wabash Avenue," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Josef Myrow
"I've Been Floating Down the Old Green River," music by Joe Cooper, lyrics by Bert Kalmar
"Billy," music by James Kendis and Herman Paley, lyrics by Joe Goodwin
+
SONGS
"Clean Up Chicago," "Wilhelmina," "Baby Won't You Say You Love Me?" "May I Tempt You with a Big Red Rosy Apple?" and "Down on Wabash Avenue," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Josef Myrow
"I've Been Floating Down the Old Green River," music by Joe Cooper, lyrics by Bert Kalmar
"Billy," music by James Kendis and Herman Paley, lyrics by Joe Goodwin
"I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate," music and lyrics by A. J. Piron, special lyrics and music by Ken Darby
"Harrigan," music and lyrics by George M. Cohan
"Honey Man," music by Al Piantadosi, lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
"I Remember You," music by Harry Von Tilzer, lyrics by Vincent P. Bryan.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
April 1950
Premiere Information:
World Premiere in Chicago, IL: 31 March 1950
Production Date:
mid May--mid July 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
31 March 1950
Copyright Number:
LP36
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
92
Length(in feet):
8,290
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13820
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Chicago of the early 1890s, Andy Clark goes to the Loop Café on Wabash Avenue to visit his former partner, Mike Stanley, who currently runs the saloon, and meets old cronies Eddie and Harrigan. A couple of months earlier, Andy and Mike had been partners in a carnival, but Andy lost his share to Mike in what Andy later discovered was a crooked card game. Andy tells Mike that he is going to be his new partner but Mike does not agree. Ruby Summers, an entertainer in the saloon, and Mike's hoped for sweetheart, takes an instant dislike to Andy. Meanwhile, Andy sells a ring to raise a stake for a poker game which he ultimately loses to Mike. In retaliation, the next evening Andy shows up in the company of two young ladies, Cleo and Jennie, with whom he engineers a ruse: As a temperance group pickets the saloons on Wabash Avenue, they hear Cleo complain that she has been thrown out of the Loop Café when she was only trying to stop her husband from losing his pay at the crooked gambling tables, money that she and two starving babies at home desperately need. Andy stirs the picketers to action and they proceed to wreck the saloon. During the mêlée, Mike pushes Harrigan, who falls and hits his head on the bar rail. Andy and Eddie take him next door to a wax museum to recover and there Andy has another idea. They hide Harrigan away on a ship and, after placing a wax dummy in a coffin, claim that Harrigan has died from a concussion caused by Mike's blow. Andy then suggests to Mike that ... +


In Chicago of the early 1890s, Andy Clark goes to the Loop Café on Wabash Avenue to visit his former partner, Mike Stanley, who currently runs the saloon, and meets old cronies Eddie and Harrigan. A couple of months earlier, Andy and Mike had been partners in a carnival, but Andy lost his share to Mike in what Andy later discovered was a crooked card game. Andy tells Mike that he is going to be his new partner but Mike does not agree. Ruby Summers, an entertainer in the saloon, and Mike's hoped for sweetheart, takes an instant dislike to Andy. Meanwhile, Andy sells a ring to raise a stake for a poker game which he ultimately loses to Mike. In retaliation, the next evening Andy shows up in the company of two young ladies, Cleo and Jennie, with whom he engineers a ruse: As a temperance group pickets the saloons on Wabash Avenue, they hear Cleo complain that she has been thrown out of the Loop Café when she was only trying to stop her husband from losing his pay at the crooked gambling tables, money that she and two starving babies at home desperately need. Andy stirs the picketers to action and they proceed to wreck the saloon. During the mêlée, Mike pushes Harrigan, who falls and hits his head on the bar rail. Andy and Eddie take him next door to a wax museum to recover and there Andy has another idea. They hide Harrigan away on a ship and, after placing a wax dummy in a coffin, claim that Harrigan has died from a concussion caused by Mike's blow. Andy then suggests to Mike that he not reopen the saloon but go into partnership with him to open a high class place that will have Ruby as their featured star. Mike is reluctant but Andy tells him that the police will not find out how Harrigan died if they are partners. A short time later, they open an elegant casino on the midway of the Chicago World's Fair where, much to Ruby's disgust, Andy stages the shows. She complains to Mike, but he explains that Andy is holding Harrigan's "death" over him. Later, because Andy's staging actually improves her numbers, Ruby apologizes to him. Mike tells Andy that he is going to propose to Ruby, but Andy engineers another of his tricks and, while Mike is stuck on a Ferris wheel, Ruby and Andy spend time together and begin to fall in love. Soon theatrical producer Oscar Hammerstein sees Ruby and she learns that he wants her to star in a New York show. Andy and Ruby intend to get married but disaster looms when Harrigan returns drunk. Andy and Eddie hide him once more, this time in the casino's wine cellar. Meanwhile, Mike has gotten drunk at the news of the impending marriage and when he goes down to the cellar for another bottle, he encounters what he thinks is Harrigan's ghost. It soon dawns on Mike that Harrigan is alive, and he knows that Andy has tricked him. While Ruby is packing for New York, she receives a visit from South Illinois Bank representative Horace Carter, who wants to tell Andy that his loan of $20,000 to open a night club has been approved. He reveals that Andy has told him that Ruby will be appearing at the club and the bank has accepted this as security for the loan. When Ruby tells him that she is going to New York, Mr. Carter becomes very worried and leaves, saying he must report to the bank. Andy then arrives and Ruby confronts him with his latest trickery, refusing to believe his protestations of innocence. After she breaks their engagement, Andy goes to see Mike, whom he suspects of setting him up but Mike produces Harrigan and considers the partnership dissolved. Some weeks later, as Ruby debuts in a lavish Broadway show, Andy and Eddie, who are working in a Bowery vaudeville dive, go to her opening night. At the intermission, Mike proposes to Ruby but, just as she says that she is still in love with a cheap, conniving skunk, Andy walks in and he and Mike recall the various tricks they have played on each other. Mike then gallantly reveals that it was he who concocted the loan "gag" and sent the phony bank manager to see Ruby. Andy thanks him but says that he is a bit too late with his confession, and leaves. Later, at Andy's theater, he is surprised by Ruby as she replaces his regular singer during a stage blackout and, thanks to Mike, they are reunited. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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